Seeing a prospectus can give you some of the core facts about a university, but nothing compares to having a look around and soaking up the atmosphere of the campus: attending an open day is the best way to immerse yourself in the day-to-day happenings of a university and experience the campus and its facilities first hand.
I’m originally from the Midlands (it took me a good few hours to get down to Surrey), so I decided to make a weekend of my open day visit. If this is the case for you too, there are lots of hotels, all within a half an hour walk of the campus, which will enable you to have an explore of Guildford’s town centre too.
Even if you’re only here for a few hours, I’d recommend having a wander around Guildford once the open day finishes: be it a stroll along the River Wey, a spot of retail therapy in the Friary Centre or a hike up The Mount if you’re feeling particularly energetic.
The campus itself offers lots of green areas to sit and enjoy the Surrey sunshine! One of the best way to find your bearings is to go on a campus tour – these will be departing throughout the day, so make sure to join one. Nothing beats taking a stroll around the lake in your free time and trying out one of the many food stalls on offer – these stalls are a sample of the food market which comes to the Students’ Union every Thursday.
You can also have a look around the library (all five floors of it) and see the social spaces such as the Front Room, the MySurrey Hive and the MySurrey Nest: the campus is full of places to have fun when you’re not studying.
Another ‘must-do’ on the day is to attend a Welcome Talk. This is your chance to find out some of the key points about Surrey: it will also give you an overview of the campus accommodation which you can have a look around on the day. There will be an information fair in the marquee which is where you can find the accommodation team and ask any questions you may have about living in halls or finding off-campus accommodation.
Department Talks and Tours
Aside from the campus tour and welcome talk, there’s also the chance to find out the specifics for your degree course. The departments hold both tours and talks throughout the day, and if you’re still not set on exactly which degree you’d like to study, then you’re welcome to join the talks for more than one subject! These will be at set times, so I’d recommend planning the welcome talk and campus tour around your subject-specific activities.
You can also take the shuttle bus over to the Manor Park campus (or enjoy the 15-minute stroll instead) which is where you’ll find lots of new accommodation, the Sports Park and Vet School. Even if you’re not overly sporty, the climbing wall and swimming pool are pretty impressive, as is the list of sports clubs available – you can even take one up as a complete beginner, no experience necessary. The same goes for all the societies, the Students’ Union will be on hand to let you know more information about the calendar of activities which take place.
Chat to current students!
Last but no means least, come and chat to us: current students! We were in your exact position only a couple of years ago, so please don’t be shy and ask away: that’s the only way to truly find out what studying a course and living in Guildford would be like.
The open day was the first moment I could imagine Surrey becoming my new home for the next few years, so make sure you explore, ask lots of questions and most importantly, enjoy yourself! 😊
Author: Annie May